Best Show Yet for CONNECTICUT ANTIQUE MACHINERY ASSOCIATION

By Staff
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Fordson conversion tractor owned by Ed & Ellen Bezanson & family, Waterford, CT.
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Hot air water pumping engine built in 1895. The engine, owned and rebuilt by Jerry Ellis, was found in the basement of an old house in Colebrook, Connecticut.
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Unidentified exhibitor with his hot air engine outside at the 1997 CAMA show, which was the best ever.

Sent to us by Robert Hungerford, 47 Clinton Avenue Westport,
Connecticut 06880

The main event of the year was the running of the Skinner
Universal Uniflow engine. The Uniflow is the ultimate in steam
valve construction and the most efficient of steam engines. This
engine was originally in the Rocky Hill, Connecticut, Veteran’s
Hospital and was an auxiliary generator. It was donated to CAMA two
years ago and we have spent a great deal of time on it. The engine
ran for the first time at CAMA. This was the moment we got all
steamed up about! The crowd stood watching as the final adjustments
were completed and the steam valve was opened. Bob Hungerford was
the key to operation and I think he did a great job. The engine
ran, the project came to a wonderful close, and perhaps next year
we’ll have it generating power again.

The other engines in the Industrial Hall include the Tiffany and
Pickett engine, which is another large engine like the Skinner, but
instead of a generator, this one drove an entire factory with line
shafts and belts. The engine is based on the designs of Noble T.
Green and is more efficient than others before it. This engine with
a 12 foot diameter flywheel, had the inertia to power all the
machines in the factory, and it only ran at 150 rpm. Due to the
size of the flywheel, the speed up of the line shaft was a multiple
of the diameter and it might have turned six hundred to one
thousand rpm.

The newest addition to CAMA is the Oil Field Pump Engine
Building. This building was put up in late summer, and the engines
were in and on display before the show. What an accomplishment! The
engines in the barn are single cylinder hot tube and spark
ignition. The first engine next to the side door is a big red Oil
City Boiler -works engine built in 1905 and has a 9 inch bore and
16 inch stroke, which is 300 cubic inches. It also has a really
neat governor on it called a pendulum . governor. This is simply a
weight fastened to the exhaust pushrod that opens the exhaust valve
only below a certain speed. This one is four stroke and water
cooled. However, when engines of this type were in operation, they
pumped crude oil and used some of it for cooling. By pumping it
through the jacket that surrounds the cylinder and running off the
natural gas that is on top of the oil in the well, it made for an
efficient setup. Now these run on propane, which has a lot more
BTUs than natural gas, and so while starting the engines they tend
to flood easily, but have more power. The second is a 1906 Oil Well
Supply Simplex engine, which is very similar to the first, and has
a centrifugal governor and dual ignition. The third big engine was
built by Pattin Brothers before 1910 and is two stroke and hot tube
ignition. It was used for drilling and is 15 HP. Flywheels are four
to five feet in diameter on all of them, and they did not have a
throttle, but were hit and miss. There are more engines in the
future to be installed in this building and I hope to write about
these as well. Ray De Zara also had two large single cylinder
engines running outside at the show. The sheer size of these
engines is fascinating, hearing and seeing them-run is the whole
experience! The flywheels are five to six feet in diameter and the
twelve inch piston in a big cylinder really belts out the power and
the sound! What an exhibit to be seen! On the tractor side, another
new and running piece is a 1930 Bay City 10-20 McCormick swing
shovel. This was hauled out of the trees (literally) by Ray De Zara
and brought to the grounds for restoration two years ago for Roger
Nelson. Ray and Roger have worked on it steadily since, tackling
one thing after the other until it was ready. I was involved in
most of its progress and was thrilled to see the old rusty piece of
iron change into a working piece of equipment!

All the effort and work by all involved really paid off to make
a good contribution to the association and a usable Bay City
shovel. Thanks everyone! Demonstrating those days when shovels like
that were new is what we at CAMA do, allowing you to see the past
in the present.

One of the bigger items on display was a 10-ton Buffalo
Springfield roller. Karcher Reynolds worked on the engine with
Trevor Marshall to restore it. While we are on the subject of big
tractors, I think the steam tractors are a big draw. This year we
had the 1910 New Huber running and chuffing along. These are so big
that the driver cannot see much of what is in front, so to avoid
problems, they are driven backwards to facilitate visibility and
safety while moving at the show. The main thing is safety here, and
it must always be practiced by all.

The other 14 ton tractor we have is the Fairbanks-Morse
two-cylinder gasoline tractor. This behemoth is something else
indeed when you see it and witness its motion and lumbering
quality. It’s something you would rather give a lot of room! In
front of the driver are the giant rocker arms and valve springs
right there out in the open. The heads are giant too, about 10
inches in diameter and its huge wheels stand seven feet high and
two feet wide! This is a monster! Yet, it really doesn’t make
that much noise, kind of a big chuffing sound, although
occasionally if the timing isn’t right, it will backfire and
that’s loud. The big steel wheels on it, rolling along like the
steam tractor’s, put the roof way above the crowd and make an
impressive spectacle. This big black bug bleeds black smoke when
it’s under load of driving and pulling itself along. It came
from Canada and it is one of two known to run.

Overall I think the show went very well. I know I have said
that, but I mean it. This year we went to a lot of trouble to make
things as good as we could get them for all the people involved and
the public coming to see the grounds during the show. The newest,
but not the prettiest utility vehicle, is our International
forklift, which I have taken to and was the real reason behind the
group’s ability to accomplish as much as we did in a short
time. We could not have done much of it as easily, or at all,
without it. We don’t know how we got along without it before.
It has been a real back-saver for everyone!

The buildings are the last thing to talk about, but not the
least. They represent a lot of work, especially for the school! The
Cream Hill Agricultural School started out in Cornwall (of course
on Cream Hill) in the early 1800s. This building has now been moved
to the CAMA grounds and has been restored as a museum to the past
and shows the environment in which the students learned.

The Diebold Agricultural Hall is an exhibit in itself, being so
large inside. The tractors it holds are even more impressive. The
show is not necessarily the best time to see the barn, because
it’s just about emptied of its tractors, all of which are
outstanding in their field. However, when they are all assembled in
the barn the rest of the year, they are impressive to see, all
lined up and looking their best (relatively speaking). Though they
aren’t actually running as they are during the show, they offer
a glimpse into the past of farming and agricultural tools of
yesteryear.

The spring plowing event is fast becoming a tractor show of its
own for plowing fans. The spring event is usually the end of April
or beginning of May.

I would like to thank all those who came to, and participated
in, the fall show this year and I hope you will come again next
year rain or shine on September 27-28, 1997. The show is in Kent,
Connecticut, one mile north of the village on Route 7. For more
information, contact Bob Hungerford at 203-227-1697 or Josh
Reynolds 860-868-0283.

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